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Ministers warn wool growers on perils of mulesing

23
Oct '09
The Agriculture Minister, Tony Burke and Trade Minister, Simon Crean met representatives of the wool industry and urged them to end the mixed signals being sent out to overseas retailers, on mulesing and develop a plan to move it beyond 2010.

This meeting comes in the wake of the British Retailers Consortium (BRC) writing a letter to the Australian wool industry demanding tougher checks on growers who claim they've stopped the mulesing method of shearing wool.

The British Retail Consortium also wants Australian wool growers to be audited, so retailers are guaranteed that, any un-mulesed wool they buy is authentic along with suggesting about how, pain relief measures and clips should be rated.

According to those present in the meeting, the ministers told the industry it was all about managing risk, so that growers wouldn't get stuck in 2011 with wool, which no one wanted to buy in their overseas markets.

The Government is concerned over the fact that, Australia's $2 billion worth of wool exports could get in to a downward spiral, if the foreign retailers and processors insisted on buying wool, only from un-mulesed sheep.

Back in 2004, the wool industry had agreed to phase out mulesing by the end of 2010, but the apex wool body, 'Australian Wool Innovation' said in July 2009, that the deadline was unlikely to be reached, based on scientific grounds.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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